Dec 30, 2012

Uppurundai - Steamed Rice Dumplings

Uppurundai aka "uppu urundai" is one of the healthiest tamil dishes. This can be served as either an appetizer or a breakfast dish. It also makes a great rainy day snack!
When consumed in right quantity, these steamed dumplings sit very light in your tummy.
My earliest memories of this dish include a plate full of steaming hot lemon-sized dumplings paired with one of mom's famous chutneys. I loved everything that was part of this memory - except for the size of the dumpling. The outer layer of these dumplings taste a little better than its innards, IMHO.
To my taste, I find that the lemon-sized balls offer very slim ratio of seasoned surface vs the rest of the surface. I have made 2 changes to my mom's recipe and I will give you both variations - the original and my change.
South Indian Steamed Rice Dumplings

For dumplings

  • Rice flour - 2 cups *
  • salt to taste
  • oil - 1 tbsp
For seasoning/saute:
  • mustard seeds - 2 tbsp
  • split bengal gram - 2 tbsp
  • cumin seeds - 2 tbsp
  • curry leaves - 3 sprigs
  • asafotida - 1 tsp
  • dried red chilies, broken in quarters - 4 
  • oil, for sauteing

  1. In a dry kadai/skillet on a medium heat, fry the rice flour until it turns pink. 
  2. In a saucepan, heat 2 cups of water . Add enough salt and oil to this.
  3. When the water reaches rolling boil, remove it from fire. Slowly add the prepared rice flour to this water, while constantly stirring the mixture, with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring conitinously until the dough forms into a soft ball.
  4. Remove from heat, and cover with a wet paper towel until you are ready to prepare the dumplings.
  5. In a sautepan, heat up oil. Add the bengal gram and when it turns very light brown, add the rest of the ingredients. 
  6. Let the mustard seeds splatter, before removing from heat.
  7. Pour this seasoning on the dough ball and mix well.
  8. Apply oil on your palms, and start rolling the dough into lemon sized balls.
  9. Smear a thin layer of oil to idli plates or a steamer dish.
  10. Place the dumplings in a single layer on the prepared dish and steam for 10 minutes.
  11. Test for doneness and remove from heat.
My variation:
Skip step 7 and on step 8, make dime sized dumplings. After step 11, toss the cooked dumplings and the seasoning from step 6 together in a bowl.
When prepared this way, these also make an excellent finger food for your little ones.

*The traditional method is to soak rice and grind it to a smooth batter. I have learnt that store-bought rice flour mixed in hot water works just the same, so I do not bother with the other preparation any more. Sometimes ,just for variety, I use "idli rava". The dumplings prepared this way have an interestingly gritty texture which is a nice variation.

Serve this with a vegetable chutney for a well rounded meal.

Linking to:
 South Indian Cooking via Anu's Healthy CookingSumee's culinary Bites

I am also reposting this to Sumee's culinary Bites ,


  1. Healthy and delicious traditional dish..
    Thanks for linking it to my Event..
    Happy to follow you.. :)

  2. Divya,
    Thank you for the visit :)

  3. OMG ! My husband's moooooooosssssssst favorite dish... thanks for sharing... Glad to follow u...


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